Whether you took a misstep into a pothole on the city streets or you ignored the pain of running marathons until it was too late – an ankle fracture, or break, can be a major setback for those who suffer from it. Swelling, pain, reduced range of motion, decreased strength, and decreased balance are common impairments after experiencing this type of injury.
Whether or not your physician recommends that you undergo surgery to repair the fracture, you will certainly have a period of immobilization – probably with a cast – to help the bones heal properly. Treatment and recuperation periods will depend on the severity and exact location of the damage.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends keeping pressure off of the site as much as possible for six weeks following the fracture.
Physical Therapy Following an Ankle Fracture
Simple, everyday tasks that you once took for granted – such as walking, climbing steps, and driving – may become cumbersome or insurmountable. It may seem counterintuitive, but after your initial recuperation period, you have to get moving! That is exactly why physical therapy is vital to regaining your strength and mobility.
Putting pressure back on a recently healed bone stems from Wolff’s law, which is an old guideline that physical therapists and orthopedic specialists still adhere to today. Developed in the 1800s by German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff, the concept is that bones in a healthy person will adapt in response to the forces placed upon them.
Can I Lift Weights After Breaking My Ankle?
Heed your orthopedic surgeon’s advice regarding when you can return to weight-bearing activities. A removable ankle brace will be beneficial once you are up and moving. Most people will return to everyday movements (except athletics) within three to four months following a fracture.
Everyone’s circumstances are different, but it can take several months or more before you’ll feel comfortable again to participate in sports such as running. Muscles and ligaments can become stiff and grow scar tissue when healing, so it can be a bit painful.
When Can I Start Running Again After a Fractured Ankle?
Your physical therapist and medical team will recommend exercises that are beneficial for boosting strength and flexibility in the affected area. The estimated time before you may run after a fracture will depend on myriad factors, including the severity of the break, whether you had surgical intervention, how involved you were in rehabilitation, and your response to physical therapy.
Orthopedic Surgeons in Watertown
Your destination for comprehensive care, North Country Orthopaedic Group offers a host of services – from scanning to physical therapists to surgeons with a focus on foot and ankle injuries and trauma.
Our skilled team utilizes a variety of cutting-edge techniques and conservative modalities, including medications and physical therapy. Our well-rounded staff will help put you on the path to recovery.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call us today at (315) 782-1650. You can also request an appointment online right now to get started. We look forward to helping you heal from your fractured ankle so you can get back to doing what you love.